True Publishers come in many styles and sizes, but real publishers do not ask for any money up front. They’re the “bank” for your book project. They may offer an advance (which is worked off before additional royalties are paid); they may take your book offering just royalties on sales; but they never ask you to pay for any part of publication.
Querying a publisher involves locating ones correct for your project, following their requirements for submissions, and creating a sensational introductory (query) letter. Expect rejections, and don’t get discouraged.
Agents represent authors, contact publishers for them, and take a commission on authors’ royalties. To recruit an agent one must research those representing their genre, learn their submission requirements, and create a sensational query letter proving their superior writing skills. This is essentially similar to recruiting a publisher.
Rejections come often, even to the best writers, so don’t let that deter you. Richard Russo has a file cabinet full of rejection letters, as do many quite successful writers.
More and more authors are self-publishing their work in order to prove their skills. Consider self-publishing (see Booklets #5 through #12) rather than give up. And Good Luck to you!
more… 2a) PUBLISH – References for Additional Reading